here is my first post that i found this morning:
Vatican: Pope Benedict XVI to Resign on Feb. 28
Monday, Feb 11, 2013 | Updated 6:35 AM ESTView Comments (0)
Pope Benedict XVI pushes a button on a tablet brought to him at the end of his general audience Wednesday. It read: "Dear friends, I am pleased to
get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart." As the countdown to his first tweet
from his Twitter handle @Pontifex neared, the pope had garnered nearly 1 million followers in the eight languages of his account.
advertisement Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday he would resign Feb. 28, the first pontiff to do so in nearly 600 years. The decision sets the stage
for a conclave to elect a new pope before the end of March.
The 85-year-old pope announced his decision in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals Monday morning. Greg Burke, senior communication adviser
to the Holy See, also confirmed his resignation to NBC News.
"After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths due to an advanced age are no longer
suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry," he told the cardinals. "I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiriual
nature, must be carried out not only by words and deeds but no less with prayer and suffering.
However, in today's world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the
bark of St. Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary — strengths which in the last few months, has deteriorated
in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately the ministry entrusted to me."
The last pope to resign was Pope Gregory XII, who stepped down in 1415 in a deal to end the Great Western Schism among competing papal claimants.
Benedict called his choice "a decision of great importance for the life of the church."
The move sets the stage for the Vatican to hold a conclave to elect a new pope by mid-March, since the traditional mourning time that would follow the
death of a pope doesn't have to be observed.
There are several papal contenders in the wings, but no obvious front-runner as was the case when Benedict was elected pontiff in 2005 after the death
of Pope John Paul II.
Copyright Associated Press